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netty83 01-21-2011 09:05 AM

Should I stop taking lessons?
Hi guys, i'm sure your all bored about hearing my confidence issues and not being able to ride my mare as she is in foal so here i go again........
For the past 3 weeks my lesson horse has been spooking while out trail riding (on and off road). I think he has lost confidence in me after he slipped on wet grass. I'm sure it is totally to do with my nerves and sending him anxious signals but it's starting to put me off going to my lesson. Should i stop having lessons and wait until I can ride my mare again and have lessons on her or should i try and get through this? I ride once a week so it's along time between when he spooks to me getting on again. I was told that if i can't deal with a horse spooking i shouldn't be riding.... it's not that i can't deal with it it's just that i'm struggling with nerves and am sending signals to my horse which is then causing him to spook. No-one else is having problems with him spooking just me.

RATHER BE RIDING 01-21-2011 09:24 AM

A sign of a good riding instructor is pairing the right horse with the right student. If you are having confidence issues, you should be riding a horse that helps you get over that, not a horse that makes it worse. A good lesson horse should not react to a nervous rider. If it was your instructor who said that if you can't deal with a spooking horse, you shouldn't be riding, you need to get the hell away from there. Find a new instructor! Lessons are for learning. You cannot learn if you are worried about a spooking horse. A good instructor would be doing things to help you regain your confidence.

netty83 01-21-2011 09:51 AM

Rather be riding - thank you for your prompt reply. I agree that my lesson horse shouldn't be reacting to my nerves . I don't ride at a riding school (think you call them barns?) i ride with a freelance instructor who believes that a horse shouldn't be a broke down follow the leader kind of horse which you sometimes find at riding schools. When i first started taking lessons on this horse which was about 4 months ago now he was rock solid the first time i got on and i was more nervous then than i am now so I don't know why this has started happening. My instructor doesn't have an arena and doesn't believe there is a great deal of benefit to the horse from lunging so I don't get to do any lunge work, all my lessons are when we are out on the trail. Although I enjoy my weekly lesson with my instructor the horse is putting me off now and there isn't an option to ride another horse. Do you think i should work through my nerves and hopefully the more relaxed i get the better?

JustPaint 01-21-2011 10:02 AM

I agree with "rather be riding", I have confidence issues myself, and when you have so called instructors putting you down its easy to get out of riding. Riding should be fun and enjoyable with some challenges, but nothing to stress about. I've gone through at least three instructors and found one that was a "perfect" match for me.

Keep searching until you find someone, good luck.:D

netty83 01-21-2011 10:19 AM

Thank you JustPaint. If i switch instructors i will have to ride english which I don't find very secure saddle wise. I'm thinking about taking some lunge lessons from a different instructor and hopefully this will help me gain some more confidence but I'm not sure it will help me with the 'spooking horse' . What kind of confidence issues do you have? Do you have any tips or things that you do to help you.

JustPaint 01-21-2011 11:42 AM

Its like I'm reading myself all over again, lol. Western is not common where I live either, but I was at the point to where if i could just ride ( I don't have a horse) I'm happy. Odd enough when I wasn't looking for western riding I found an instructor that does teaches both disciplines. LOL

Lunge lessons are a very good idea. Most people would just put me on the horse and expect me to ride. My issue was that I didn't know what to do on a horse, if that makes sense. I felt like I was trying to hold on to the horse and steer, in other words being a "passenger" instead of a "driver." I didn't figure out until about 5 years later when Katy mentioned that I have not "mastered" the basics of balance and moving with the horse, which was why I felt uncomfortable.

When I found this new instructor she mentioned the same thing Katy did, so from then I knew she was a perfect match. I had one lesson with her and I've learned more from her in that 1 hour than from the 5 years I've been trying to ride.

I don't really have any tips as your confidence issue is different than mine, however the one thing I will say is don't give up. :D

I was at the verge of quitting riding myself due to some nasty people, however learning to ride is a huge passion of mine. I have no interest in showing just riding for fun. My previous instructor made me feel really insignificant and stupid, which I learned is very common in the horse world. However there are people out there that do actually want to help others learn and become good riders. They are hard to find and it may take a while but its worth it.:D

Please keep us posted!

netty83 01-23-2011 01:45 PM

UPDATE - had a lunge lesson today
Well I had my first lunge lesson today with a different instructor (she is an eventer but teaches lessons also). She put me on her 4* eventer and although he is a little bigger than i'd like (he stands at 16.2 i think) well actually a whole lot bigger as my mare is only 14.2 I had a great lesson. The first thing she said when I arrived was that he was abit fresh today but he'd been on a hack this morning so should be fine. Not the best thing she could have said but on I climbed. I had a FAB TIME! I just walked to start as i was really nervous when I got on but he seemed to key into this and was really steady. When I started trotting he even took some leg squeezing to get going. I had a 45 minute lesson on him and when I got off although my legs were like jelly I felt really excited. His trot was the best trot i've ever ridden he just bounced me out of the saddle and he was really smooth. I have a lesson booked for next Sunday but might squeeze one in mid week if I can afford to. Now I have a dilemma - I definitely love the secure seat of the western saddle the freedom to actually move about rather than sit fixed in a position, but I had fun on my lunge lesson and I'm getting to the point where i don't want to go to my western lesson. Nothing to do with my instructor it's the horse and his spooking that i'm getting frightened of. So should I keep having my lunge lessons and western lessons would that work doing the two disciplines (sp?) at the same time? confused what to do! please help?

RATHER BE RIDING 01-23-2011 08:34 PM

First off you answered your own question...

Regarding the lunge lesson, you said:

Felt really excited
Already booked another lesson, but want to squeeze another one in mid week

Regarding the Western lesson you said:

Don't want to go
Getting frightened

Trust yourself, listen to yourself!

There is no rule that says that you can only ride one discipline. You had fun at your lesson and that is second only to actually learning something, but that does not mean that you can't do both at the same time. I truly think that you can learn more in your lunge lessons and I would punt the western lessons. In my opinion, the transition from English to Western is easier then the other way around. Learn to ride and build confidence riding English, then go home and ride your horse Western. Obviously there are some differences, but I think you can figure that out. I ride both English and Western. This is a case of the more you know, the better.

Skipsfirstspike 01-23-2011 11:00 PM

I agree with RBR. At this point, I don't think it matters what discipline you are riding, as long as you are building confidence and having fun. Down the road, when you are a more competent rider comfortable at w/t/c, then you can choose to specialize. Sounds like if you continue in a negative environment with an instructor with whom you are not comfortable with, it wouldn't be long until you gave up riding altogether. We all can get nervous at times, but it shouldn't be like that all the time.

netty83 01-24-2011 02:14 AM

[QUOTE=RATHER BE RIDING;901016]First off you answered your own question...

Regarding the lunge lesson, you said:

Felt really excited
Already booked another lesson, but want to squeeze another one in mid week

Regarding the Western lesson you said:

Don't want to go
Getting frightened

I guess i did didn't I haha!

My instructor is my friend so might be a bit difficult but i think what i could gain from her a some excellent groundwork skills or should i say better groundwork skills and to continue with the lunge lessons until I regain my confidence enought to trot and canter off the lunge. thank you, it always take someone elses advice to realise what you should do!

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